As September leaves us and we head into October, there’s already a definite chill in the air. The beginning of autumn is a truly beautiful time of year, so enjoy the spectacle of the leaves changing colour and start thinking about preparing your garden for the coming months.
October is the start of the planting season. Bulbs and plants will benefit from having the months ahead to get rooted in, but be wary of planting evergreens in overly exposed patches as they are prone to drying out in winter winds. We have a great range of autumn bulbs to choose from. Plant them now for a beautiful riot of spring colour.
Clear the leaves
As tempting as it may be to leave fallen leaves, the kindest thing you can do for your lawn is to give them a good rake. Clearing them will help protect your lawn from water logging and unnecessary damage. The fallen leaves also make for fantastic mulch. This could be the perfect time to start a compost heap, if you haven’t already. Once your lawn is clear and dry, October will probably see the final mow of the year before winter really sets in.
It’s also important to make sure any leaves are cleared from patios, pathways and decking as they can be quite a hazard if left unattended.
If you have kids in the family or if you’re the creative type, autumn is a great time to get out in the garden. While collecting those fallen leaves, put a few aside for creative activities indoors or out. They can be used to create creatures and characters, forest friend headbands, crown leaf prints or wax crayon rubbings. Just pick up some art and craft supplies and you can turn your leaf pile into a real masterpiece.
Cuttings provide a relatively cheap and easy method of growing plants for next year. Take semi-hardwood cuttings of plants such as Lavender, Camellias, Lonicera, Artemisia and Osmanthus and hardwood cuttings of Cornus, Weigela and Perovskia and keep them in pots on the windowsill.
If you have a pond in your garden, now’s a great time to cover it with netting to prevent leaves dropping in, making it much easier for you to keep clean. As the weather starts to chill, add a polystyrene float or ball to make sure the surface doesn’t completely ice over in freezing temperatures. Cut back and tidy any aquatic plants to help reduce debris which could otherwise rot and increase the nitrogen levels in the water.
October check list:
- Plant early broad beans and onions
- Plant bare rooted fruit shrubs
- Prune raspberries
- Lift dahlia tubers
- Divide herbaceous perennials
- Lightly prune large roses
- Plant spring bulbs
- Raise containers off the ground
- Clear summer bedding
- Plant autumn bedding
- Clear fallen leaves
- Last chance to sow seed
- Lay turf
- Plant Christmas flowering bulbs
- Bring plants back indoors